Can we all just take a moment to take a step back and reflect on some POSITIVES on something that I feel very thankful for.
Aside from from the business functions that it provides and the fact that it’s now one of the most powerful marketing tools accessible to individuals and businesses – both small and large, social media has become something so much more in many ways.
First and foremost, I will cover my back and mention that yes, social media has the ability to influence people’s body confidence, social behaviour, productivity in the workplace and perception of themselves, in both negative or positive ways. Being relatively new, everyone’s jumped on social media being the new “cause” for mental illness and unhappiness. Publications are at the front of this (well, of course they would be – because for the first time in years they’ve been able to escape the lime light of being shamed for their plastering of airbrushed 16 year old beauties caked in makeup modelling clothes targeted at 20 something year olds).
Social media has to be used consciously. Users should be aware of who they’re following and what they’re being influenced by. I should also make a note that we should work on how we manage our time using social media because unlike a magazine, feeds are endless. See, I’m being balanced here ;).
However, you know what? At least we can be in more control of what we’re looking at and and reading. Albeit sometimes contrived, social media is more often than not real people with real stories giving us insight into snippets of their life, and we can take from that what we will.
NEXT, I want to highlight something that I LOVE about social media and a prime example is the friend/partnership I have formed with Georgie Spurling.
Yes, I want to talk about the connections that we can make with social media. Through networking and finding individuals with likeminded thoughts, beliefs and way of living, social media – dare I say it, is capable of having a positive impact on your life.
Not spoken about too much, loneliness is a HUGE contributor to mental illness and often feeds a condition further. Suffering from a disorder, sadness, depression, anxiety and addiction we often disconnect from those around us and feel unable to relate to those that we’ve known for a long time.
I suffered for years from depression and anorexia and it isolated me. Cause or effect, I did not have people around me who I could connect with or who got me. As humans we change throughout our lives and the people that we spend time with can change; why should we only connect with the people we meet through work, school or where we’re living?
I’m highlighting this because connecting with Georgie and other people over social media has changed my life. It has given me a circle of people who boost me up, understand me and who are positive influences, which in turn has enabled me to be someone that I like a lot more. Georgie and I met less than a year ago and we started Pillow Chats, a platform and YouTube show aimed to help break the stigma around controversial topics, mental health and life as we know it. We want to build a supportive, understanding community of people who feel comfortable speaking out and who motivate each other to get the most out of their individual lives.
Social media, albeit helped by my being on the TV Show and my partnership with the amazing Ben Robinson has given me a voice, boosted my self esteem, confidence and outlook on life regarding what I can achieve. I know this to be the case with so many individuals; ones who I have watched flourish (as people and personalities, it’s not all about material successes).
I have witnessed people feel as though they can grow and be influenced in the right way, to be motivated by likeminded people that they would have NEVER connected with without the social platforms.
The initiatives, messages and individual impact that social media can make on personal lives, as well as the mindset of wider audiences is incredible and we should embrace this for the positive rather than shaming it for the negatives. You have control over how you use it, when you use it and who influences you.
Let’s let it impact our lives for the better because it has that ability.
Images taken by Domenic Pendino